Governor Gianforte Proclaims September “Bear Aware” Month
Submitted by State of Montana
In partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Governor Greg Gianforte today proclaimed September as “Bear Aware” Month in Montana.
The governor’s proclamation can be viewed here and below.
WHEREAS, grizzly bears are the state mammal of Montana and an iconic American species; and
WHEREAS, grizzly bear recovery in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems is a major conservation success story; and
WHEREAS, grizzly bears have reached recovery levels in the Northern Continental Divide and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems and their population is expanding in both number and distribution; and
WHEREAS, avoiding conflicts with grizzly bears is a vital part of managing bears now and into the future in Montana; and
WHEREAS, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, federal agencies, tribal governments, and partners in the conservation and agriculture community work together to help communities and landowners avoid bear conflicts and manage conflicts where they occur; and
WHEREAS, promoting bear awareness to minimize conflicts with grizzly bears through education and outreach is a community effort;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Gianforte, Governor of the State of Montana, do hereby proclaim September 2023 in Montana to encourage Montanans and visitors to live and recreate safely in bear country. Tips on living and recreating safely in bear country may be found at fwp.mt.gov/bear-aware.
Tester Secures $5 Million for Domestic Violence Shelters MT
Submitted by Sarah Feldman, Testers Office
As a part of his continued effort to ensure that Montana victims of crime have the resources they need to get back on their feet, U.S. Senator Jon Tester secured $4.9 million to maintain and enhance crime victim services in the state. The funding comes from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and is awarded to support local community-based domestic violence shelters and other service providers across Montana.
“Every day, Montana’s domestic violence shelters, victim advocates, and other crime victim service groups provide life-changing services and treatments to folks across the state,” said Tester. “This funding will provide these top-notch organizations with the resources and support they need to ensure our hard-working victim advocates can keep helping Montana survivors recover, heal, and thrive for years to come.”
As a leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester secured these funds and was the only member of the Montana delegation to support the 2023 government funding bill. These competitively awarded funds are made available by VOCA and will be administered by the Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) to private nonprofit and public agencies that provide direct services to crime victims – including survivors of violent crimes.
Tester has always worked diligently to ensure to ensure that Montana victims of crime have the resources they need to get back on their feet. After noticing a considerable diminishing balance in the Crime Victims Fund (CVF), Tester crafted and passed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act to increase deposits and maintain the solvency of the fund. He has also been a longtime supporter of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and supported the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act to continue and improve this critical law.
MT Property Tax Rebates
Submitted by Montana Department of Revenue
Starting August 24, all Montana property tax rebates will be sent by paper check in the mail.
To reduce the risk of fraud perpetuated by scam artists, the Montana Department of Revenue removed the option for taxpayers to receive the property tax rebate by direct deposit. The department received applications where applicants entered banking information for direct deposit that does not match banking information in the department’s records. While some of these claims are qualified taxpayers that have changed banks, some are criminals filing fraudulent claims.
“We expected fraud and already had measures in place to identify fraudulent applications,” said Montana Department of Revenue Director Brendan Beatty. “Sending the rebates by paper check will help us further reduce fraud.”
By applying early at GetMyRebate.mt.gov, taxpayers can reduce the risk that criminals will use their information to claim the rebate. The application period is open and ends on October 1, 2023, but the department encourages Montanans not to wait. Please contact the Montana Department of Revenue if you believe someone has filed a fraudulent claim on your behalf.
The Montana Property Tax Rebate provides qualifying Montanans up to $675 of property tax relief on a primary residence in both 2023 and 2024. The qualifications to claim the rebate are at GetMyRebate.mt.gov.
The fastest way for taxpayers to apply for and get the rebate is by applying online. Claiming a property tax rebate online should take only a few minutes.
Over 100,000 homeowners have successfully applied for their rebate online since the portal opened one week ago on August 15. The department anticipates it will take up to 90 days to process payments and send paper checks by mail.